One of the oft repeated bits of advice writers get is to keep a journal. I can see the appeal: Partly, it’s practicing writing your thoughts down. That in itself can be useful for new writers, to get them to practice grammar, and flow, things like that, in a context where they don’t feel pressured. It can also be used to store ideas, the brainstorm, and snippets that pop in your head.
But I’m horrible at it. Often times, when I’m percolating a story, I tend to end up with post-it notes strewn everywhere. I’ll be out running around, or at the day job, and have something I need to write down. If I carried a journal, it would be easier to not end up with scribbled bits of papers shoved into every pocket. It’s a habit I just can’t seem to ever get myself into. Partially, I think, because it involves remembering to carry it around. I don’t usually carry a purse. I’m too prone to leaving it behind. My jeans typically aren’t big enough in the pockets for carrying around everything else plus a notebook. I’m far too impatient to try entering these things into my phone, I just can’t type fast enough on there. Even electronic journals, and web based ones, have their drawbacks. It’s far harder to flip through when it’s in the computer, and their searching isn’t always advanced enough to pick up what you want when you don’t know the exact words you used.
Do you journal? How do you keep track of it all?